Once a fortnight, the Eltham community is invited to a free meal.

Wayne Annand and his wife Colleen started the meal as they saw a need for it in the community.

"We are part of the Eltham Christian Harvest Centre which runs the community pantry. The pantry has been so well patronised I thought we needed to do something else," Wayne says.

"I saw a segment on the news about community meals held in Kaitaia and I thought the meals would be beneficial to Eltham and would be able to piggyback on the pantry."


Colleen says the pantry is filled most morning and by afternoon is mostly empty.

"It's been this way ever since it started."

Everyone is invited to the event, with the aim of the meal being low key.

"We want people to come have a meal and feel relaxed like they would at home. It's a cooked meal with no strings attached."

He says while there have only been two meals so far, the support they have received has been amazing.

"The Eltham community has jumped right on board. We've received donations for the pantry and the meal which we are so thankful for."

He says he enjoys meeting the people who turn up to the meetings.

"It's really amazing - there have been so many different people."


The meal is also kid-friendly.

"We have colouring in available for children but we ask that any children under 14 be accompanied by an adult."

He says he is determined to keep the meals going for as long as they're required.

"It's important for the community to have the meal available to them."

The meals run fortnightly on Monday evenings.

■ The next Eltham Community meal is February 24 at the Eltham Harvest Centre Hall 5.30-6.30pm. Text 027 322 3579 to confirm number of people attending.